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Amaravati : Construction of Naidu’s Dream City and the Question of Land Acquisition

The city of Amaravati is being developed by acquiring land from the farmers of the villages. Whether it is at the expense of the livelihoods of these poor people, is the question.

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The famous Stupa of Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. Wikimedia
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  • Amaravati is going to be the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The development of Amaravati is going on through acquisition of land from the farmers.
  • The scheme developed by the Andhra Pradesh State Government for the purpose is called Land Pool Scheme.

The state of Andhra Pradesh is undergoing a major change whilst having its capital transferred from Hyderabad to Amaravati. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu is aiming at building his new capital city to the likes of other world class cities of Singapore, Japan and China. He wants to be the one who can give his people a better city and a better standard of living. He, along with his Ministry has envisaged a plan which would help them in acquiring land from the farmers and in building the new city, it is known as the Land Pooling Scheme. Under this scheme they have succeeded in acquiring 33,000 acres of land from over 29 villages. Thullur was the first village that was chosen to be worked on for the construction of the capital city but later the State Government altered their choice to pick Mandadam and Uddandarayunipalem villages. However, they did not neglect Thullur altogether. In fact, it was reported in The Hindu that most villagers of Thullur are now the residents of two-storied houses with vehicles of their own. Most people are enthralled with how their lives have changed with the advent of the Land Pooling Scheme of the Andhra Government.

A road in AP. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.
A road in AP. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.

However, the critics are of the opinion that the aforementioned scheme of the Government is just another way to deceive the people and acquire their land forcibly, under the farce of voluntary surrender of land. It was also stated by them that LPS is all but a scheme to somehow by-pass the strict rules and regulations of the Land Acquisition Act. The Leader of the Opposition Party, Y.S. Jagamohan Reddy told The Hindu, “What the government did was to take away large chunks of fertile land from farmers and pass them on to the corporate in highly questionable deals,”. He accused LPS of being an idea of “land fooling” and not voluntary acquisition of land.

A road in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A road in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Indeed, there are certain parts of the city where land has been acquired from the farmers but adequate compensation has not been provided by the State Government. These farmers have no clue about what the following days would usher in for them. These fertile lands lay bare without even a structure being built on them. Therefore, the Land Pooling Scheme, even though it sounds extremely promising at first, has a number of shortcomings as well.

A building in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A building in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The real estate prices having been swooping high since the development of the city was started by Naidu. Agents recall being called by investors from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad these days because now they want to invest in the real estate of this rising city. There is a lot going on regarding the construction plan of the city which is resulting in boosting the real estate business.

The central government led by BJP has handed the Andhra Government a solid amount and the YSR Congress have expressed their desire to contribute. Seems like, everybody wants to have a part to play in Naidu’s dream project. Whether he will succeed in his endeavor or not is the big question.

-Prepared by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    I think it is good if people who are giving their land are getting a flat in two storey building, it is a sign of development.

  • AJ Krish

    It is really good that the government is planning to create a world-class city. The people are all overwhelmed and excited to join in, but they hardly seems to have a plan. The farmers have lost their livelihood and for what exactly?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Farmers cannot be moved from their lands. You either not take it or make sure that they get the land money as well as permanent jobs in the planned city

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  • Aparna Gupta

    I think it is good if people who are giving their land are getting a flat in two storey building, it is a sign of development.

  • AJ Krish

    It is really good that the government is planning to create a world-class city. The people are all overwhelmed and excited to join in, but they hardly seems to have a plan. The farmers have lost their livelihood and for what exactly?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Farmers cannot be moved from their lands. You either not take it or make sure that they get the land money as well as permanent jobs in the planned city

Next Story

Small Farmers in Asia Miss Out On Climate Change Resilient Seeds

East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders

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Women farmers use sticks to make holes in the soil for seeds, on a farm near Pangalengan, West Java, Indonesia. VOA

Millions of smallholder farmers in South and Southeast Asia are missing out on new, resilient seeds that could improve their yields in the face of climate change, according to an index published Monday.

The 24 top seed companies fail to reach four-fifths of the region’s 170 million smallholder farmers for reasons such as poor infrastructure, high prices and lack of training, the Access to Seeds Index found.

Access to seeds bred to better withstand changing weather conditions such as higher temperatures is vital as farmers battle loss of productivity due to climate change, said Ido Verhagen, head of the Access to Seeds Foundation, which published the index.

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A farmer burns rice straw at his field in Qalyub, causing a “black cloud” of smoke that spreads across the Nile valley, near the agricultural road which leads to the capital city of Cairo, Egypt. VOA

“We see increasing demands for new varieties, because [farmers] are affected by climate change,” Verhagen told Reuters.

“If we want to feed a growing population, if we want to tackle climate change, if we want to go towards a more sustainable food system, we have to start with seeds,” he said.

Smallholder farmers managing between one to 10 hectares of land provide up to 80 percent of the food supply in Asia, said the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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FILE – Farmer sifts wheat crop at a farm on the outskirts of western Indian city of Ahmedabad. VOA

But traditional methods of preserving seeds from harvests are not always sufficient to cope with a changing climate.

About 340 million people were hungry in 2017 in South and Southeast Asia, a number that has barely changed since 2015, according to latest figures from the United Nations.

“The question is how to get markets to provide the varieties [of seeds] that farmers want, at prices that they’re able to pay,” said Shawn McGuire, agricultural officer at the FAO.

Some smaller companies are leading the way in helping smallholders access more resilient seeds, Verhagen said, such as Thailand-based East-West Seed which topped the index ahead of global giants Bayer and Syngenta, which ranked second and third.

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Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan. wikimedia commons

East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders, he said, while Indian companies Acsen HyVeg and Namdhari, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, have also reached small-scale farmers with seeds.

Also Read: Climate Change’s Fight Harder Than Thought: Study

The index, funded by the Dutch government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ranks companies based on seven areas including strategies to help small farmers and supporting conservation. (VOA)